Dating can be a difficult topic to navigate, especially when you first meet someone and are completely taken by all the happy, romantic feelings you are experiencing. However, it is important to understand what’s healthy in a relationship and how often you should dedicate time to seeing your boyfriend or girlfriend.
In this article, we will be discussing what is generally considered normal in a relationship and breaking down some of those relationship milestones we always hear about. We’ll also be talking about the many benefits that taking it slow with your boyfriend or girlfriend can have in the long term.
What Happens When You Meet Someone You Like?
When you first meet someone that you are attracted to, emotional or physically (or both!), you will likely start to experience an influx of hormones and happy feelings that make you want to spend time with this new person all the time. This is commonly referred to as the “honeymoon phase” of a relationship. While you are in this phase, it is common for you to want to blow off all other commitments to spend time with this new person, or you may find yourself thinking about your boyfriend or girlfriend for a significant portion of your day.
Add on to these happy hormones the fact that sex can be intoxicating, especially for new couples, and you have a recipe for two people that want to spend their every waking moment together – which may not always be considered the healthy thing to do, and even more so in a relationship that is fairly new.
What’s Considered “Normal” for a Relationship?
It can be difficult to truly say what is “normal” for a relationship because there are so many different variables that can come into play. This includes things like a long-distance relationship, relationships where one partner works a highly intensive job, or relationships where both partners are currently working or in school. That being said, there are some key indicators that your relationship may be on the unhealthy side that you should keep an eye out for.
At the start of a new relationship, it’s generally recommended to only see your boyfriend or girlfriend once a week. We’ll discuss more on the benefits of this below.
For relationships that have lasted longer, say more than a few months, it is generally acceptable to start seeing your boyfriend or girlfriend a couple of times a week, depending on your individual schedules.
And for long-distance relationships, you may want to consider trying to see your boyfriend or girlfriend once a week or twice a month, depending on your distance from each other.
Again, all of these recommendations are highly dependent on what you and your boyfriend or girlfriend are comfortable with and are able to committed to. But for the most part, it is a good idea to take things slow, especially at first.
Forget About Relationship Milestones
A lot of times, couples will try and measure where they should be in their relationship by using commonly accepted “relationship milestones.” This includes things like making your relationship official on social media, going on vacations together, and introducing each other to your respective families.
However, trying to abide by these relationship milestones exclusively can often be a recipe for disaster. As we discussed above, what is normal for every relationship varies greatly based on your personal commitments, your boyfriend or girlfriend’s personal commitments, and how you interact when you are together.
Rushing into commitment or putting too much emphasis on the concept of relationship milestones can break down the bond you have already established with your partner, and you may start to lose sight of what’s truly important in your relationship, which is creating a healthy, happy bond with your partner.
The Benefits of Taking It Slow With Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend
Taking it slow with your new boyfriend or girlfriend and only seeing them once or twice a week, depending on your personal obligations and relationship distance, can hold a number of benefits that may strengthen your relationship together in the long run.
You Make Better Judgments
Remember those happy hormones we talked about above? These same hormones can cloud your judgment of your boyfriend or girlfriend as a person, and the more time you spend together (and the more sex you have with each other), the more likely it is for these hormones to escalate to the point you are making poor decisions in order to spend more time with your partner.
These decisions may include things like canceling on friends, skipping out on work obligations, or ditching your family all for a chance to go on a date with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Sticking to a meeting plan of once or twice a week can prevent these hormones from taking too much of a hold over your daily life, allowing you to think more rationally.
It Encourages Independence
Too often, people will throw themselves into a new relationship and give their all to their new boyfriend or girlfriend, completely losing their sense of self in the process. It is incredibly important to maintain a sense of independence in your relationship, as this is what will help you are your partner work together to create a healthy, lasting bond.
Seeing your partner too often may lead to this loss of independence, especially if you are changing your plans in order to see them every night of the week. Independence can also help you process your own feelings, give you space to analyze your partner’s behavior, and make more informed decisions when it comes to your relationship as a whole.
It Prevents Mistaken Commitments
It takes months or years to truly know a person and rushing into a relationship where you all of a sudden start seeing your boyfriend or girlfriend all the time can hinder this process. When you first meet your partner, you are likely to make assumptions based on the first impressions you have of them and then apply these beliefs to everything your partner does.
This can give you the wrong impression of someone or lead you into believing that they act one way when they are actually the opposite. Obviously, this can create issues down the line as you try to rectify the discrepancy between your first impression and what your boyfriend or girlfriend is now showing you.
Taking it slow with your partner can help you understand each other more and learn about the individual quirks and personality traits that are a part of them, allowing you to put together a complete picture. The more you understand your partner’s traits and motivations, the less likely you are to commit to someone you are incompatible with in the long term.
You Can Build a Friendship
A healthy and mutually respectful friendship is the cornerstone of a healthy romantic relationship, and rushing things with your boyfriend or girlfriend can stop this from naturally occurring between you two.
When you rush things, you leave less time to get to know each other as people and to deepen your emotional bond. Seeing your boyfriend or girlfriend only once or twice a week can help you build up the trust and respect that comes with friendship, increasing the strength of your relationship. You may also find yourself looking forward to seeing your partner more often than you would be if you saw them every day of the week.
Creating a Lasting Relationship
Dating and relationships are no easy subject to understand, and these issues are only made worse by the presence of the honeymoon phase that most new partners experience. When deciding how often to see your boyfriend or girlfriend, it is important that you consider all the benefits of taking it slow, only move as fast as you are comfortable with, and make sure you can still maintain your identity while in the relationship. As long as you do this, you are sure to form a strong relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend that makes both of you happy.